With the release of Alteryx Analytics 10.5, we continue the support of our partnership with Tableau to streamline analytic output by introducing a new Web Data Connector tool to the collection of Tableau integration options. There are now 3 different ways to use the result of an analytic workflow in Tableau, each addressing specific requirements:
Write a Tableau Data Extract (.TDE) with the Output Tool
This is a 'push' option. Alteryx executes a workflow and creates an output consumed in Tableau. The execution is triggered from Alteryx, either manually or scheduled.
This tool comes with Alteryx.
Publish to Tableau Server
Publish a TDE as a Data Source on the Tableau Server
This is a scaled out version of the previous option. In this case the dataset generated by Alteryx gets pushed to the Tableau Server where it can be shared and consumed by a large audience. As before, the execution is triggered from Alteryx, manually or scheduled.
This tool is available for download and installation from the Alteryx Gallery
Web Data Connector
Expose the Alteryx workflow as a web data connector for Tableau
This is a 'pull' option. Without using Alteryx directly, Tableau end users can get data from an Alteryx workflow with control over query parameters. For example a date range, sales territory or product line.
This tool is available for downloaded and installation from theAlteryx Gallery
Why another option? The Web Data Connector option was added in Alteryx Analytics 10.5 to address a couple use cases:
Interactively getting fresh data on-demand — For this use case, users need the most up-to-date data at a moment’s notice. As an example getting today's sales update- this type of use case requires good interactivity, read - the data needs to return fast. If the analytic process takes a while to execute, users will not have a good interactive experience, nor get the insights they’re looking for quickly.
Tableau is used as a visual and interactive way to consume Alteryx applications - By application, I mean an Alteryx workflow that offers some level of interaction with the user. For example with the 2010 Census Demographic Report, users select parameters, the application runs and provides a personalized result. Running an Alteryx application with the Tableau Web Data Connector offers Tableau users the option to manipulate those parameters without having to leave Tableau.
Scale and ease the maintenance of the data value chain — Analysts who needed to deliver personalized results to different groups of Tableau users need to duplicate the Alteryx workflows and create a specific TDE output for each group. With the Web Data Connector, and the parameters capability described in the use case above, the same workflow can serve different needs. There is no longer a need to duplicate workflows, which simplifies workflow maintenance.
Let's look at the big picture on how to make this work and what elements are needed:
This diagram shows an Alteryx application created in Alteryx Designer and published to the Alteryx Server (aka Alteryx Gallery). From there, the Web Data Connector allows either Tableau Desktop or Tableau Server to trigger the Alteryx application and visualize the results.
After you have those elements you're ready to develop your first Alteryx WDC application. Follow the simple instructions provided in the online help. The video below presents step-by-step instructions on creating the Alteryx application and making the connection with the Tableau Web Data Connector.
Please note: by design, the refresh button/menu item in Tableau will not trigger the Alteryx application. It only refreshes the visualization with existing data. In order to get fresh data from Alteryx you have to use the Extract>Refresh menu in Tableau. In order to get the Alteryx application parameters to come back you'll have to 'Edit the data source...' in Tableau. Tableau has received our feedback about improving this user experience in future releases of Tableau.